Accreditation Process

Nutrition and Dietetics education programs voluntarily apply to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for accreditation by submitting applications demonstrating compliance with the Accreditation Standards.

Accreditation recognizes the quality of an institution or program and assists in its improvement.  As such, accreditation:

  • Provides value to educational institutions and programs while protecting students and the public interest.
  • Complements institutional accreditation by giving reasonable assurance of the quality and content of the education necessary for a particular profession or field.
  • Brings together practitioners, regulators, educators and students to improve professional preparation and practice, ultimately benefiting the profession and the public that it serves.

Accreditation includes self-analysis, preparation of a self-study report, and an on-site evaluation visit by a team of professional peers. Dietetics educators and practitioners, appointed by the ACEND® board, participate in the peer review process to determine if a program is achieving its own educational objectives and meeting the Accreditation Standards. The ACEND® board accredits programs that are able to meet these Accreditation Standards.

Accreditation is a multifaceted process—program directors are advised to plan ahead and allocate adequate resources. The ACEND® Policy and Procedures Handbook, available as a PDF download, provides a detailed explanation of the process.

Apply/Maintain Accreditation

ACEND® has established policies and procedures for application, review and maintenance of all levels of accreditation: candidacy and full accreditation. Applications for candidacy and full accreditation must address the Accreditation Standards in effect at the time each application is submitted